105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry

By Whit Burnett | Go to book overview
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JAMES THURBER

DEAR WHIT BURNETT:

. . . It might be much simpler for you to use "More Alarms At
Night" from
My Life and Hard Times. This has been considered
by Fadiman and Gibbs and others the funniest of my stories and it
is probably right for your purpose although I agree with White*
that the word "Best" acts as a barrier, but I guess I can live it
down.

If you don't like "More Alarms At Night" you could use another
from that book as this one has rarely, if ever, been published in
anthologies.

Sincerely yours,

JAMES THURBER

* E. B. White, one of the editors of The New Yorker.


More Alarms at Night

ONE of the incidents that I always think of first when I cast back over my youth is what happened the night that my father "threatened to get Buck." This, as you will see, is not precisely a fair or accurate description of what actually occurred, but it is the way in which I and the other members of my family invariably allude to the occasion. We were living at the time in an old house at 77 Lexington Avenue, in Columbus, Ohio. In the early years of the nineteenth century, Columbus won out, as state capital, by only one vote over Lancaster, and ever since then has had the hallucination that it is being followed, a curious municipal state of mind which affects, in some way or other, all those who live there. Columbus is a town in which almost anything is likely to happen and in which almost everything has.

My father was sleeping in the front room on the second floor next to that of my brother Roy, who was then about sixteen. Father was usually in bed by nine-thirty and up again by ten-thirty to protest

-250-

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